Health

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“Each day in the United States, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.”

-http://www.cdc.gov

Have you ever wonder why so much teens are part of the overall population who smokes tobacco? It is an issue that people, programs, and campaigns have been trying to prevent because of the health issues related to tobacco. Despite the strong emphasis that tobacco use is dangerous, why exactly are teens still continuing to do it?

Well, here are some possible reasons why:

  • Access to tobacco resources. Whether it’s someone they know or a specific place that they can purchase it, illegal exchanges and distribution are widely spread in the U.S. Teens may have a lot of connections such as a dealer, friends, family, etc., that allows them to have the substance.
  • Peer pressure. Teens are easily pressured to grow up by society and people. Those who are older or ‘experienced’ consider themselves highly upon others who have not tried it. So that is why teens are influenced to fit in with everyone by doing what the ‘experienced’ group want. (And this extends more than tobacco).
  • Trying too hard to be living the ’stereotype’ teenage life. We all know that there are stereotypes of what American teens should behave like: being rebellious, crazy, wild, party animals, and unpredictable. It is how society project the way teens should act like: partying, having early intercourse, doing drugs, and drinking underage. When teens see those things, they start to accept it and think they should act like that. So some teens may want to live up to those stereotypes because they think that in order to experience the ‘teenage life’, that it is the correct way. (Which it is incorrectly presented and too overrated.) Maybe it’s time for everyone to change their mindset on how they can experience teen life?
  • Person pleaser. Sometimes, it’s the individual who is a person who can’t stand up for themselves and other teens take advantage of that. When someone is a person pleaser, they’re easily targeted and do things that they may not want to do. There might be some fear involved that they may lose their friends or judged or not fit in or are afraid and cannot speak up.
  • Some teens simply don’t care. Not everyone pays attention to the health risks of using tobacco or don’t care at all. There is not much we can do for them because it is their choice after all. We can advise teens in hope to decrease the amount of teen tobacco users, but at the end of day, it’s up to them to decide.
  • Stress? Stress can vary from mild to bad, but teens may turn to more dangerous routes to cope with it. There are other available options to deal with stress. But some teens would not want to discuss about it with someone or try another positive alternative.
  • Want to try tobacco? Teens are curious about a lot of things and that is both a good and bad thing. In reality, it is not like teens don’t know using tobacco can harm their body. Some use the excuse of how they just want to ‘try’. We can’t stop their curiosity and decisions when it comes to health related matters. We can only educate them best about the risks.
  • Outside influence. Besides the usually circle of friends and family, there are outside influence that causes teens to want to use tobacco. For example, influential people and things such as celebrities, movies, music, magazines, etc. Those kinds of things does put an image in teens’ heads that it’s socially, culturally accepted. Yes, people in the U.S. are allowed to smoke at the age of a legal adult. But it doesn’t apply to the underage population.
  • Some teens/kids start younger than expected. And it means kids younger than high school age do use tobacco too. This is a huge problem because that means tobacco use is spreading onto younger kids everyday. It is likely that these younger generations may not realize the larger consequences of using tobacco. And, young tobacco users are more likely to continue when they’re in high school and possibly after it. “In 2012, 6.7% of middle school and 23.3% of high school students currently used tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, snus, smokeless tobacco, pipes, bidis, keteks, dissolvable tobacco, and electronic cigarettes.” – http://www.cdc.gov/
  • It could be addiction? Some teens don’t know that tobacco contains harmful chemicals such as nicotine. A substance that is founded to be addictive and could cause nicotine addiction. So that is why it’s hard for people to stop using tobacco. There are those teens who are not aware that tobacco addiction is both a mental and health issue that needs help.

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Page_SpringAllergiesAreHere

http://www.vailranchpharmacy.com/

Be aware of coming spring weather! Although it is nice that the weather is getting warmer, be alert for allergies. Not everyone have allergies and some people may not even know they have it. If you have allergies, don’t worry much it’s not because you’re sick.

So what is an allergy? It is a unusual reaction from the immune system to harmless foreign substances. Therefore, those with allergies should prevent from being near those things.

What are the symptoms? Most common symptoms to determine if you’re allergic to something includes runny nose, hives, red eyes, itchiness, irritated skin, and an asthma attack. Of course, keep in mind that not everyone’s symptoms are the same. Some symptoms are more severe than others while some may experience mild reactions.

How can it be treated? People can have easy access to treatment by buying over the counter pills. Those pills usually help lessen or prevent the symptoms from affecting you. A doctor could prescribe specific medications to you if it’s more severe.

What are some things that people are allergic to?

  • pollen
  • dust mites
  • poison contact (poison ivy, etc.)
  • mold
  • foods (peanut, nuts, etc.)
  • animal foods
  • dust
  • latex
  • animals (cat, dog, fish, etc.)
  • gluten (wheat, grains, bread, etc.)
  • water
  • sun exposure

allergies

http://blogs.longwood.edu

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After eating, we don’t usually reflect on it. Although some people do because each kinds of food contains different levels of sugar, protein, nutrition, and more. You want to be in control of your food intake because it has a direct relationship with your overall health. Even eating differently whether it’s good or bad, it may change your body. Therefore, it is wise to make sure you eat enough or the right amount of food.

eatwellplatelarge2

  • Don’t always or eat the same thing too much. Whether its a type of food, sweet, or snack, it is not good for your body to lack specific nutrients that comes from other food. There are tons of food out there can meet your criteria of someone who likes organics or someone who is a vegan. So make sure you eat a variety of food.
  • Don’t overeat! Your stomach can only stretch so much in a certain amount of time. If you overeat, you might end up puking it out because your stomach will dispense food if there’s too much inside of it. Remember that your stomach can only digest an amount of food; therefore, it’s not endless supply of space.
  • Don’t use food as a comfort! Another way to describe this is binge eating: a disorder that describes how some people deal with stress or emotions by consuming a great amount of food. Usually it is for comfort and it can go onto be a continuous cycle.
  • Don’t eat because you just want to! Okay, so you may be bored, may have nothing to do, or you just feel like it, but it doesn’t mean you need to eat it! We all have cravings, but it’s not necessary to eat food when you are clearly not starving/hungry.
  • Eat your cravings a little each day. Or every two to three days. If you can satisfy your cravings, you won’t feel the need to consume a great amount when you can have some.
  • Be wise about the portions you take in. We are all probably guilty of this one because there were times where we ate way too much. Whether it’s chips, hot-dogs, fries, donuts, chocolates, etc., try to be reasonable with your portions. Think about what you need to eat on your plate (protein, veggies, fruits, etc.) versus what you want to eat.
  • If you don’t want to eat certain food but is lacking nutrients in other areas, you can always take daily vitamin pills. It is another alternative instead of consuming the actual food. But it does not mean you should not eat at all.
  • Don’t ever try to lose weight by starving or gain weight by eating unhealthy food. There are proper ways to do both. You can eat food that have fattier content that are found in salmon, avocado, olives, etc. Or eat less fatty food such as fruits, veggies, chicken, turkey, etc.

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Teen Pregnancy Factsheet

TBRates-Hisp2000-2011http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/LongDescriptors.htm

Statistics

  • According to the CDC, 329,797 babies were born to women aged 15-19 in 2011 in the United States.
  • However, 2011 was also the year of lowest recorded birthrate in 70 years of tracking adolescent childbirth.
  • But the U.S. rate of adolescent pregnancy is still the highest amongst the most developed countries in the world, and is twice as high as the rates in Australia and Canada.
  • Approximately 82% of teen pregnancies are unintended, and they accounted for 1/5th of all accidental pregnancies in the U.S. in 2006, according to Planned Parenthood.
  • There are also many racial disparities in teen pregnancy, seen on the right (from the CDC).
  • Adolescent mothers are: more likely to have lower family incomes, more likely to be poor and receive public assistance, likely to be less educated, less likely to get married.

Preventing Pregnancy

  • Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and risk of pregnancy.
  • However, some adolescents may choose to engage in intercourse, which is totally fine!
  • There are several ways to protect yourself, but they have varying degrees of successful prevention.
  • These are only a few ways to reduce the risk of pregnancy. There are several other options not shown to the left, and it’s very important to find out which one is the best option for you. Whether it fits into your lifestyle, its convenience, its effectiveness, its cost and whether it is a safe option for you are crucial considerations.

pregnancy protection

In the Event of Pregnancy

  • Solutions to the pregnancy that teens commonly choose are adoption, abortion, or keeping the baby. It is crucial to decide which one is the best option for you and your family, should you decide to involve them.
  • Abortion is an option and does not make you any less moral should you choose to take it.
  • If you choose to keep the baby, you do not have to give up on a college education. You might have family willing to take the baby in, but there are options to get into college even if you choose to care for it yourself.
  • Teen mothers are often shamed for having engaged in sexual intercourse, however it is not your fault and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s important to build a supportive network of people who understand this.
  • How you handle the pregnancy is your choice, and you get the final say.

Things to Remember

  • Be aware of the risks of intercourse and take appropriate steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy.
  • Practice safe and consensual sex! Only engage in it when you and your partner feel emotionally prepared.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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Stroke

stroke1

http://www.georgiadisabilitylawyerblog.com

A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a “brain attack”. If the blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die causing a permanent damage.

There are two major types of stroke. The first one is called, Ischemic stroke and the other one is Hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that stores blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. This problem may happen in two ways: A clot may form in an artery that is already very narrow. A clot may break off from another place in the blood vessels of the brain, or from some other part of the body and travel up to the brain. Ischemic strokes happen when there are plaque collected on the artery walls from fat, cholesterol and other substances. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and burst open. With the burst it’s causing the blood to leak into the brain. Some people have defects in the blood vessels of the brain that makes this more likely.

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for strokes. There are other major risk factors such as: Diabetes, family history of stroke, high cholesterol and age increasing (especially after the age of 35). People who already have heart disease or poor blood flow to their legs causes the arteries to narrowed are also more likely to get stroke. The chance of stroke is higher for the people who are not active, which they live in an unhealthy lifestyle by being overweight or obese, drinking heavily, eating too much fat or salt, smoking and taking cocaine and other drugs.

The symptoms depend on which side of the brain is damaged. There are times when a person doesn’t know if he/she has stroke or not, meaning they might not have any symptoms to tell you that a stroke is awaiting to happen. Symptoms usually happen suddenly and without warning. Headache may occur when stoke caused bleeding to the brain. Other symptoms depend on what part of the brain is affected. It may include hearing, taste, confusion, loss of memory and etc.

Stroke is a medical emergency. You should immediate contact 911 for urgent medical care at the first signs of stroke. Immediate treatment can save loves and reduce disability. Treatment depends on how severe the stroke was and what cause it.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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hp b

www.hepaticcarcinoma.com

Hepatitis B is the irritation and swelling of the liver due to an infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The infection is spreadable. It can spread though having direct contact with blood, sexual contact with in infected person, tattoo with unclean needles or instrument, shared needles during drug use and sharing personal items with someone who has the infection. Another thing is that the hepatitis B virus can be passed to a baby during childbirth if the mother is infected. It can pass down to the child through birth.

Risk factors that will increase someone with the infection is by being infected with HIV, having multiple sex partner or having parents who were born in regions with high infection rates. The damage from the virus happens because of the way the body responds to the infection. Once your body’s immune system senses the infection, it’ll send out special cell to fight if off the infection. With the cell trying to fight off the infection, it may lead to liver swelling.

There isn’t a symptom at first when you become infected with the virus, you may have no symptom. You may feel sick for a days or weeks. Along the way, you may become ill, which is called the fulminant hepatitis. If your body is strong enough to fight the infection, any sign of the infection should go away over a period of weeks or months. Everyone is different, not everyone’s bodies have the strength to fight and get rid of the infection completely, which is called the chronic hepatitis B. Many people who have chronic hepatitis B without any symptoms, they might not look sick at all. Because of that, they might not even know that they are infected. With that being said, they can still spread the virus to other people. Another thing is that the symptoms may not appear up to six months after the tie of infection. There are some early symptoms such as: appetite loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. Another thing is that since there may not be any symptoms to be notice, the liver is going through damage without knowing it.

There are some tests that are done to identify and monitor liver damage from hepatitis B. You should be careful monitoring the liver and other body functions with blood test. What you should do is get some rest, drink a lot of fluids and eat healthy foods. In some cases where there is liver failure, you may need a liver transplant, which will cure in some cases of liver failure. Some may be treated with medications from prescription.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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artery_wall
heart_attack

www.medicinenet.com

Heart disease plays a part of the heart and the arteries/veins. It is also known has cardiovascular disease. The coronary arteries carry blood and oxygen to your heart.  It is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries to your heart. Another way to call it is, hardening of the arteries. Because of the buildup of plaque the arteries gets narrow and it will cause the process of transfer blood to the heart to slow down or it can stop.

There are some risk factors that can’t be avoided due to gene or aging.  The risk of heart disease increases while you age, but this process starts with fat deposits in the arteries and may begin at a young age. Men have higher risks of getting heart disease than women who are still getting their menstrual period, but after menopause the risk for women is closer to the risk for men. If your parents or other close relatives had the disease, you are at higher chance to get it.  Another hand, there are many other risk factors that you have control over, which you can change.

Stop the habit of smoking and the use of tobacco because the more you smoke, the higher risk you put yourself to hardening your arteries. Be active and exercise more, at least 30 minutes a day on a 5 days week. With exercising make sure to maintain a healthy weight. The way you can figure out what weight is healthy for you are by calculating your height and weight to estimate how much body fat you have. (BMI) If you’re a drinker, you probably want to limit yourself to no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men.

Other things that increase the risk for heart disease is: diabetes cholesterol and being overweight. Heart disease is a major problem of diabetes and the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes. About 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease. When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in walls of your arteries. Overweight is considered a major risk factor for both heart disease and heart attack. By being 20 percent overweight increases your risk for developing heart disease.  Inactive individual is more likely to become diabetic, have blood pressure and or high cholesterol. With all three of these conditions combine it increase the chance of getting heart disease.

Symptoms may be noticeable, but there are times that you can have the disease without any sign of symptom. The most common symptom is feeling chest pain. The cause of the pain is when the heart is not getting enough blood or oxygen. The pain may feel heavy or like someone is squeezing your heart. The pain that you feel is under your breastbone, neck, arms and stomach or upper back. Another sign that you will get is shortness of breath and tiredness with activity. If you get short of breathes while climbing couple steps or in an activity, it means that you need to be aware of what you’re eating in order to gain the energy for your body to keep up with everyday life activities or routines.

Nutrition is important to your health and it helps you control some of the risk factors. Foods that consider as unhealthy food are: Fried chicken, pizza, burgers, French fries, deep fried, fried rice, backed goods and etc. Eating too much red meat and adding a lot of salt to your product isn’t healthy. Fruits, vegetables and whole gains are considering healthy food. Have more low fat dairy products and proteins. An example is, instead of milk get skim/Low fat milk. Instead of eating so much red meat, take fish, eggs/dairy, chicken and beans.

This is a preventable and treatable disease through medication and changing life styles. Each individual has his or her own way of how to recover and maintain from the disease.

Fast food is considered as unhealthy food, whish is not good for your body because the food there contains many salt and oil. Too many fat will cause problems in the body itself. Eat more greens and homemade food.

To all the youth out there, protect yourself by watching what you’re eating. Eat more vegetables and less French fries. Instead of drinking a can of soda, drink green tea. While watching television, eat fruits and vegetable rather than eating potato chips and popcorns. Try to eliminate burger, pizza and fried chicken. Switch it to rice, fish and veggie. Be active by playing sport, doing martial arts and Tai chi. Meditate to relax the mind and body, so that it gives the relaxation to the blood flow. Remember to stay healthy by staying active and choosing the right food for you to maintain a good BMI for your body.

Articles by Mai Thao/Youth Media Force

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With the introduction of cigarettes, many negative effects continue to happen because of the toxic chemicals that are being made available and sold to people. Although the tobacco industry has been around more than 50 years, their customers probably have not made it that far. It is quite sad that the sacrifice for such riches are their customers who are the ones at risks. Here are some facts that you should know about cigarettes:

cigarette-smash-thumb-210x280

http://www.mfablog.org/2014/03/animal-protein-as-bad-as-cigarettes.html

“Over the past 50 years, more than 20 million Americans have died as a result of smoking, including 2.5 million nonsmokers who died from heart disease or lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.” - http://www.tobaccofreekids.org

  • Smokers now are more at risks compared to smokers in the past due to the change of ingredients in cigarettes.
  • The tobacco industry continues to thrive and increase the price of their brand(s) and in return, makes billions of profit each year off of their customers.
  • People who smoke put lasting effect on their teeth. Not only will the teeth began to stay yellowish, there will be a increase of plaque and tartar, risk of developing oral cancer and luekoplakia, and losing teeth involved.
  • The effect it takes on our society is the increased death rates, loss of productivity, and increased health care cost.
  • Cigarettes have been proved to be addictive with nicotine as one of the ingredients, therefore, it does explain one of the reasons why people still continue to smoke.
  • Factors that influence people to smoke even though they know it is bad for them is because of stress, peer pressure, temptation, curiosity, parental/surrounding smokers, false information, addiction, media, and comfort.
  • Tobacco related diseases are preventable! But it is really up to smokers to decide when to quit and let their body recover.
  • There is no real solution to shut down the tobacco industry, but we can decrease the rate of deaths, lower the risk of diseases, and cigarette customers.
  • Smokers will often cough up mucus that went wrongly into the lungs, therefore a continuous cycle of shortness of breath and having less oxygen in the body.
  • There are reasons why cigarettes don’t have the ingredients in it listed on the package. It is because they do not want their customers to know the chemicals and toxins that are put in cigarettes. If tobacco industries did such thing, it would undermine their point that “smoking is acceptable”.

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The simple things in life are what everyone should take some time to appreciate and be thankful. You may no realize that these things is right in front of your eyes. Here are some things that make our lives a little brighter everyday:

1. Water

water bottle

http://www.naturalgrocers.com/products/drinking-water

Water is a limited resource. But since the U.S. have easy access to it and everyone has running water at their comfort, it can be over looked. Water is a resource that is increasingly being depleted by all living things. So water should be treated with conservation in mind.

2. Air

Jon-Hopkins-Purity-Ring-Breathe-This-Air-video-608x446

http://www.stereogum.com/1491912/jon-hopkins-purity-ring-breathe-this-air-video-nsfw/news/

Precisely, oxygen is what our body really needs, but we can only breathe it mixed with other gas. Our body is not adapted to breathe in thin air or pure oxygen. Without air, we would not be able to survive on this earth. Therefore, our air should not be polluted since it will affect ourselves and other beings as well.

3. Life

1424680876_1379278505

http://www.bubblews.com/news/1142940-the-value-of-life

It’s not easy to live in a world where it’s competition between all living things. Although sometimes people may think their life is insignificant, they should realize that no living organism is easily brought into the world. We all have to struggle to live.

4. Family

stick-family-300x208

http://annawrites.com/blog/2013/08/14/real-family-real-sacrifice-whats-that-about/

Family is something that we should all be grateful and thankful for. Without your family, you would not be able to make it this far. Every family have their rough times and arguments, but it doesn’t mean they stop caring about you. Although every family may have their differences, remember that it’s those people who will always support you.

5. Friends and Pets/Companions

why-pet-dogs-make-good-companions-L-stBdq5

http://en.paperblog.com/why-pet-dogs-make-good-companions-589195/

Who ever is your companion whether it’s another human or not, they are the things that make your life a bit happier. You can laugh, cry, play, and make great memories with them.

6. Knowledge/Education

knowledgemanagement

http://pro-act.org/profiles/blogs/advocacy-and-knowledge-management-empowering-building-capacity-of

Knowledge is something people take for granted. Humans would not be where they are now if they did not learn to educate and keep knowledge that would eventually be passed down to another generation. People just assume that we have all this education to begin with, but that’s not true. It took years and years for scholars, scientist, teachers, and more, etc., dedicated to learning which has brought human civilization to it’s stage today.

7. Food and Produces

food-item-prices

http://www.opstudiohk.com/node/1111

We live in a world, meaning the U.S., where food and produces are processed through being able to grow faster, being able to produce a massive amount, and being able to profit from it. Therefore, our food market have a lot of products which produces and animals are abused to feed us. It’s a huge issue that the food industry just ignores. Since organic and traditional farming is too slow and too expensive, the market’s standard for food has dramatically dropped for decades.

8. Music

music-263x300

http://www.monsterworking.com/2013/09/09/cool-jobs-music-edition/

Think about how much great sounds we would miss out on if we didn’t have music. Such things that would makes us excited to hear in movies, games, and songs would be quite lifeless.

9. Mother Nature/Outdoors

lakesuperior13

http://www.bluefinbay.com/i-love-bluefin/today-at-bluefin/superior-warming

Sometimes we are stuck indoors to the point it stresses us out and we forget that there is a world out there outside of our comfortable home. Enjoy the outdoors while you can. Nothing beats a beautiful change of scenery.

10. Being able to forgive and forget

forgiving-300x228

http://www.rockviewchurch.com/2012/02/23/the-faith-to-forgive/

The best way to find peace is being able to forgive and forget. In that way, you’ll be holding less grudges and feel lighter. We should not focus on the bad things in life and be upset about it. There are better things to do then fuss over little issues.

11. Our Five Senses

5-senses

http://www.englishexercises.org/makeagame/viewgame.asp?id=6123

It is amazing how our bodies can touch, hear, see, taste, and smell. Without these qualities we would not be able to do much and miss out on life. Technically, we would not be able to do much without them.

12. Electricity

electricity.jpg.html

http://www.yourdictionary.com/electricity

Thanks to all the people who worked hard towards making electricity available to people. People take it for granted and we should appreciate how much effort it took just to turn on the TV or to start the car. Electricity is not something easily obtain and thanks to many people, we do not have to live in a world where we could only rely on fire as a source of light.

13. Medicine and Health

500_1191267547_139295_2309

http://www.thrivelife.com/blog/index.php/2009/10/20/zeroing-store-medicine/

If you get sick, you can just go get medicine over the counter at a store. Now that is rather quick, easy, and cheap compared to bringing a doctor to your home and having them diagnose you. Also, thanks to our advanced health knowledge and system, people are able to live up to 80+ years! It is really quite the accomplishment for human health and convenient for us.

14. Time

hour-glass

http://www.timeanddate.com/time/international-atomic-time.html

We think we have so much time in the world. Yes, we do have a lot of time. But time is precious only when people are losing it. Therefore, time should be appreciated and do things that will worth spending time on. Because once times is loss, it is something that cannot be returned.

15. Freedom

freedom-300x200-1

http://thepeoplegroup.com/2011/10/a-culture-of-freedom/

People have many freedoms in the U.S. We are able to choose our own religion, speak out, organized our on groups, able to believe in what we want, etc. Our freedom is limited in other ways, but for the majority we basically could do or go anywhere we can.  Freedom is one of those little things that allow us to enjoy other wonderful experiences.

16. Communication

skills-pmp

https://www.pmchampion.com/blog/pdu-ideas/lines-of-communication/

Communication is one of those things that humans learn to do from birth. It’s not always something that is considered making our daily lives better. It is quite amazing how we can communicate not only through language, but through the Internet, music, letters, cellphones, radio, etc.

17. Every Single Day

Every-Day-is-Hard

http://timemanagementninja.com/2013/01/doing-something-every-day-is-hard/

We should enjoy every single day we have. Why? Every day is a new start and there are many things you can do just for a day! So it’s best to enjoy it.

18. Memories of our own

black-blackandwhite-fun-grey-memories-favim-co-300x199

http://indranislight.org/2013/12/total-recall-or-false-memories/

We have the ability to remember specific things and then it becomes part of your memory. It is something we can all enjoy (or not) depending on what kind of memory it is. Regardless, we should enjoy remembering old memories and making new ones.

19. Sun

Sun-light-through-the-trees

http://miriadna.com/preview/sun-light-through-the-trees

Sunlight can be dangerous sometimes, but when it’s just the perfect amount it feels great to bathe in it. The sun and its light is what gives us the light we need for our day. Also, it does warm our bodies, our earth, and give life to other organism.

20. Toilet and toilet paper

220px-Toilet_with_flush_water_tank

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet

We have a place to deposit our waste and thankfully, we have toilet paper to wipe it too. Without both, well life wouldn’t be clean.

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If you are a underage youth that is increasingly smoking due to many reasons, it is a concern over your health and daily life. You may think that it’s not a big deal, but it is a huge deal. Why? Well, you are basically putting your health at risk and smoking isn’t going to make your life any better.

1. Stress/Struggles

If you’re coping with your stress/struggles through smoking cigarettes, then you are DOING IT WRONG. Believe or not, it might signal that you need a wake up call and be reasonable with yourself.

Would smoking make your stress go away? If it do, is it only temporarily or will it have a long term effect? Have you consider other ways to deal with your situation? Have you ever consider talking to someone about your struggles? Do you understand and are aware of that there are people out there that want to help you?

Rather than being close minded and keeping everything in, you should let it out. Think about yourself in the future and try to find the solution to your problems.

You may think that the world is against you, but there are people out there who have worse problems than you and would rather in your place than theirs. Be thankful for yourself, appreciate your life, and do not smoke just because of excuses. There are options out there for you, you either don’t know or haven’t try them out yet.

2. ‘Fitting’ In

You may be trying to fit in the crowd. Stop, you don’t have to. As cliche it may sound, you are perfect the way you are. If people don’t like you or understand you, it’s ok. Why? It’s because those people will not matter to your future anyways.

When you need help will those ‘friends’ help you out? If you’re trying so hard to fit in, will those friends accept you for who you really are? How are they friends to begin with if they didn’t like you before you didn’t smoke? Why are you trying to please others instead of yourself? Have you ever thought about putting yourself first?

While in high school, it may be hard to resist trying to fit in, but if you really think about it, once you graduate those ‘friends’ will not be by your side anymore. So why bother trying to be their friend if they’re not going to be your real friends? Be smart, think about your choices, and stay true to yourself. You don’t want to get lost in the crowds, so stand out as yourself so that you will be able to stand up for yourself.

3. Just for curiosity/fun?

If you think having fun involves smoking, then you’re totally missing out on life. Smoking is rather boring and degrading your body. You need to understand that smoking IS NOT FUN. Is it fun to consume deadly and poisonous gas that damages your body? You may think it’s fun now, but you will be paying the price with your life.

Youths should not approach cigarettes out of curiosity. If everyone is willing to tell you personally, explain to you in school, spend billions of dollar on promoting anti-smoking ads everywhere, and spreading the awareness of what tobacco do, then you should know. Youths these days have no excuses for trying to smoke because it’s not like no one know that tobaccos, cigarettes, and smoking are extremely overlooked as a simple problem that contributed to many deaths, health concerns, and diseases. Everything about tobacco is everywhere from the internet, to books, to posters, etc. Therefore, if you smoke just because you’re “curious”, stop with the excuses and make a better decision.

4. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can come from anyone and it doesn’t mean it’s only from your friends. Youths are more likely to smoke if they are constantly surrounded by people who are smoking daily. They might think it’s a normal and okay thing to do, but the reality is, it’s not.

Just because there are people who smoke and surround you, it doesn’t mean you have to chose to be like them. Although those people may have influence over you, it doesn’t necessary mean you have to obey their way of living. You’re living in a environment where you have your own right, your own freedom to say no and not give in. Don’t make decisions based on other people’s choices and judgement because once you give into smoking, you do understand that it’s because you allowed those people to influence you.

5. Image

If you’re smoking to keep up or to put up a ‘tough’ image, you look the opposite in people’s eyes. You’re giving into what other youths want you to look and act like. It does not matter what people think about you, but of what you think of yourself. Sometimes, you need to understand that you are the only person in this world that you should value at the moment. Whether it’s smoking cigarettes, doing weed, or drugs, whatever it may be, projecting a fake image of yourself will not get you any further than you are.

Whatever choice you make regarding your future, remember not to put yourself at risk. Be above the influence.

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